Coming Soon: Forever a Passenger

Carr, in his piece “Passengers”, starts by talking about how he had to use a manual, but begged for an automatic car. Then when he got the automatic he disliked feeling like a passenger in his own car. He then goes into how Google has made one into a passenger in their own car with the self-driving car.  Carr mentions how people thought something like that could never happen because they didn’t believe that there are a “set of rules that can replicate a driver’s behavior” (Carr 9). Which is true they state, but people are predictable enough to where it is a possibility for a rule to replicate the behavior. Carr then goes into detail about how our brain tricks us into thinking that we dislike hard work yet it is hard work that truly keeps us going. He sums it up by saying that we need to find a balance and have technology help us with the mundane things so that we as humans can strive for harder more thought provoking work.

In regards to Carr’s inquiry, I believe that the one that owns the “computer-driven automobile” (Carr 7), should be held accountable if an accident is to occur. That is due to the fact that they chose to purchase the product as is (and with and software updates mandated by the software company). They chose to consume this good, own it and utilize it. Once the product has left the “hands” of the producer and seller it is no longer their responsibility, it has now been passed on to the consumer.

Carr’s tone starts our as one of reminiscence as he relives the moments of first being able to drive. Such as when he states, “I took a quiet pride in my accomplishment” (Carr 5). Then it shifts into a more informative tone yet he renders some awe in his statements.  As he describes what Google he is black and white, yet one becomes full of awe as he talks about the “laser rang-finders, radar and sonar transmitters, motion detectors…” (Carr 6) that make the self-driving car possible. At the end, he finally shifts into a more questioning tone as he wonders why human think the way they do create things we feel will help us, but in the end, make us tend to feel empty inside. Carr’s tone in this piece varies a lot more than in the piece “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” (IGMUS), as I believe he used one main tone throughout IGMUS piece. But, the tones used in both piece were effective in driving home the points he wished to get across to his readers. In both pieces, his use of tone really pushed you to think about one’s life and how technology is affecting one’s self, which I believe was his end goal, self-reflection.


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